Iowa Wage and Hour Investigations: What you need to know

If the commissioner of labor receives a written wage complaint about a particular employer, the commissioner may enter the place of employment to inspect wage and payroll records, question the employer and employees, and investigate other relevant facts in determining whether any person has violated the wage and hour laws (IA Code Sec. 91A.9).
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If an employer intentionally failed to pay wages due to an employee or to reimburse certain expenses, the employer may have to pay the amount due, plus damages, court costs, and attorney's fees. If the violation was not intentional, the employer doesn't have to pay damages; just unpaid wages, court costs, and attorney's fees (IA Code Sec. 91A.8).
Discrimination because of wage claim. Employers may not discharge or discriminate against an employee because that employee filed a wage complaint, assigned a claim, filed a suit, or cooperated in bringing action against the employer. Any employee may file a complaint with the commissioner, alleging discharge or discrimination, within 30 days after a violation occurs. The commissioner may conduct an investigation. If the commissioner determines that an employer inappropriately discharged or discriminated against an employee in such a situation, the commissioner will take the matter to district court, and the court may order the employer to rehire or reinstate the employee to his or her former position with back pay (IA Code Sec. 91A.10).
Civil penalties. Employers that violate the state's wage payment provisions are subject to a civil penalty of up to $500 per pay period for each violation. When determining the penalty amount, the commission considers the size of the employer's business, the seriousness of the ...

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